This is the sweetest, most justified kidnapping I've ever seen. Randy:
How many have
you seen? Catalina: Five or so.
This is when a character is forcibly brought to meet someone who, as a plot twist, turns out to have no intentions beyond just having a chat, and who is often actually the kidnapped character's ally or employer. Say, for example, someone gets kidnapped at gunpoint in the middle of the night so that they can be bundled into a car and taken to a deserted warehouse to meet... their boss, who has details on their next mission.
Sometimes this has valid in-story reasons — if secrecy is paramount, for example, it may be deemed necessary for the sake of maintaining a cover. Other times, though, it just seems to be a plot twist for the sake of a plot twist — approaching the person peacefully would have worked just as well, but that way, we wouldn't have had all that lovely dramatic tension. Can come across as stupid if the one of defining traits of the character approached this way is an ability to cause massive losses and damages
— see Stupid Surrender
In some cases, it can be a case of Poor Communication Kills
. A Scary Surprise Party
is often a specific type of this. Not to be confused with The Kindnapper
, though there is some overlap.
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Anime & Manga
- In the CLAMP manga Suki the main character is frequently used as a hostage to get money out of her rich father. Then, one of her best friends, whose family was apparently having monetary troubles, kidnapped her.
- In Code Geass, Kallen is captured in battle. As a high-ranking member of La Résistance, she expects to be executed or brutally interrogated. Instead, she's turned over to Viceroy Nunnally, one of the few pacifists with any sort of authority. They mostly reminisce about Lelouch, Nunnally's missing brother and Kallen's former classmate.
- In the beginning of the Witchblade Masane got kidnapped with the help of a tranquilizing gun by an assistant of her would-be employer. Looks like a risk, given how much could go wrong note and that they knew there's no way to stop a Witchblade user if she would as much as panicked from waking up in an unknown place later.
- Happens to Tenma in Monster.
- Mrs. Bradley in Fullmetal Alchemist, who is kidnapped by Roy Mustang and his subordinates during the Promised Day. She doesn't know quite what's going on, but once her husband's own followers attempt to kill her and she realizes her kidnappers are actually protecting her, she only too gladly joins their cause.
- A Certain Magical Index: Index gets "kidnapped" by Stiyl at one point to help with an official investigation. Stiyl wanted Touma to come along too, and knew he'd have an easier time of it if Touma thought Index was in trouble rather than simply asking him. Touma figures this out immediately (he knows Stiyl, of all people, would never harm Index), but still isn't too appreciative.
- Kind of in the Tintin book Tintin Destination Moon. They're following an invitation that ends with them ending up in an armored car getting taken through checkpoints to what looks like a military base in what they expect is a sinister kidnapping. Actually, Professor Calculus just wants them to join him working on the moon project. Calculus is their friend, but the supervisors who send the invitation aren't, so it might not count.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man, Spidey is kidnapped and held prisoner by Carol Danvers after Norman Osborn escapes prison. She later explains that it was partly to protect Spiderman, who Osborn would surely go after (and partly to try to lure Osborn back to jail).
- James Bond encountered this more than once:
- The first time he meets Felix Leiter and Quarrel in Dr. No.
- In You Only Live Twice, the director of the Japanese intelligence service (already named as an ally, and who remains an ally throughout the film) feels a need to have Bond lured down a corridor so he can fall through a trapdoor and down a chute which dumps him in a chair in the director's office. One can't help feeling that giving Bond a quiet invitation and directions to the stairs would have been less of a bother for both parties.
- On Her Majesty's Secret Service. After Bond saves Tracy's life, he's kidnapped by several men and taken to see crime lord Draco. It turns out that Draco is Tracy's father and wants Bond to marry her.
- In The Man with the Golden Gun, Lieutenant Hip doesn't seem to feel any need to inform Bond that the reason he's being arrested and taken out on a police launch to the middle of nowhere isn't so that they can dispose of him with no witnesses - it's so that he get a mission assignment from his boss, who is cleverly concealed in a shipwreck.
- In For Your Eyes Only, Bond is kidnapped by 'the dove' who is actually the Big Bad's old rival.
- This is also before The Reveal that Kristatos is the Big Bad, at this point we believe that it is 'the dove'. It's after Bond meets him that it is cleared out.
- In The Living Daylights, Bond is brought to someone at gunpoint. A villain? No, it's his old friend Felix Leiter, who just wants to ask what's going on. Justified this time, as 007 had just shot and killed a senior KGB official in front of several dozen witnesses and Leiter had no way of knowing it was being staged.
- In Bad Company (the one with Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins), Rock's character is grabbed out of bed and kidnapped as part of a training exercise. Hopkins begins to tell him how, in that situation, his mental faculties shut down in a panic when Rock interrupts, saying he knew what was going on because he identified the agents, one through his breath, one because he could feel her breasts when she grabbed him, and one because he stole his wallet while they were grabbing him.
- Rise of the Guardians has this happen to Jack Frost as a way of getting to the North Pole, thanks to Santa Claus's idea.
- Happens to the protagonist in Dreamland. The agents in question are very amicable about the whole thing.
- In the Star Trek novel Time For Yesterday, a local warlord captures an enemy priestess and proposes marriage.
- Happens to Elric of Melnibone in The Sleeping Sorceress. He successfully fights off the attempt, then stumbles onto the person who arranged it anyway.
- Rincewind is kidnapped by the Revolutionaries in Interesting Times.
- Mel Beeby is a victim of this in the Agent Angel (aka Angels Unlimited) series of books. It has been speculated this was mainly for the benefit of older readers, considering who kidnapped her.
Live Action TV
- Page quote comes from an episode of My Name Is Earl, where Earl snatches his friend's mother so he can convince her to quit smoking cold turkey.
- On House Chase got kidnapped for his bachelor party and he sort of knew what was going on.
- That was so he had a handy excuse to use if his fiance complained about it. Of course, she knew exactly what was going on.
- In Season 4, House himself was basically abducted by the CIA for most of an episode, for an emergency diagnosis on a covert agent.
- Dexter is also kidnapped for his bachelor party. This results in him accidentally punching his friend Masuka when he is released from the carboot, as he (and the audience) genuinely believed he had been taken by the season's Big Bad, the Skinner.
- Happens on Life, when Crews tries to pull a Not My Driver on Mickey Raybourne, whose bodyguard then smashes through the window and kidnaps Crews. And then Raybourne lets him go at the beginning of the next episode with an apology and an invitation for drinks.
- Subverted in the Legend of the Seeker episode "Elixir." Zedd is captured by a group of mercenaries, and brought, bound, to their boss...who happens to be an old friend of Zedd's, who promptly sets him free and explains he grabbed him because he heard a wizard was in town, but thought it might be one working for Darken Rahl. The subversion comes when he explains his plans to fight Rahl, which involves, essentially, magic drug trafficking. When Zedd objects, his old friend binds him again, and tries to strip him of his magic.
- In the first season of Heroes Hiro ends up kidnapped by employees of his father, ostensibly wanting to bring him home and end his journey, but his berating is really a Secret Test of Character.
- In Sherlock, the man who's stalking John through CCTV and has him kidnapped and taken to a warehouse is actually Mycroft, rather than Moriarty, and his offer to pay John to spy on Sherlock is not the action of a criminal mastermind but of a loving, if creepy, older brother (who is also something of a criminal mastermind - at least, Sherlock seems to think so).
- Jonathan Creek experiences an accidental example in one episode, in which his unique talents were called upon by a senior police officer. Apparently there was a bit of a breakdown in communications, because the two officers sent to bring him to the police station were under the impression that he was actually a suspect. The inspector was most apologetic about it.
- On Person of Interest Reese does not always have time to explain to the POIs what is going on so they often assume that the armed man who grabbed them and forced them to go with him is kidnapping them and intends to do them harm.
- On How I Met Your Mother Barney is kidnapped for his own bachelor party by Ted and Marshall
- Call of Cthulhu supplement Pursuit to Kadath. While investigating the mysterious disappearance of Nils Lindstrom, the investigators are kidnapped by a group of armed men and taken to a railway car. There they meet U.S. Senator Harold Lindstrom, who wants to hire them to find his son Nils.
- The start of Final Fantasy IX has the main characters trying to kidnap Garnet for their employer Cid in Lindblum, while at the same time she's trying to escape her Alexandria to reach Cid.
- Star Ocean Till The End Of Time has this near the beginning. Fayt is marooned on a planet, and has little hope of actually getting off of it. A few plot events later, when Fayt is facing the first boss of the game, who has a gun and can easily kill Fayt, Immune-to-phasers Cliff shows up to kidnap Fayt to take him to Maria, solving both the "stuck on a planet" and the first boss problems at the same time. Fayt had to be told repeatedly that Cliff was there to kidnap him.
- The Simpsons has done this a few times. A specific example: Marge enlists Willy's help to kidnap Homer, Bart and Lisa when the latter were brainwashed by a cult.
- Totally Spies!: All that "whooping" qualifies as the speed variant. Once an Episode, and regularly lampshaded.
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: Jimmy Neutronand his friends in the Rescue Jet Fusion special.
- Used by S.H.I.E.L.D. in Spider-Man: The Animated Series. If Nick Fury wants to have a chat with you, expect your next taxi to be one of their disguised flying cars.
- ReBoot: Hexadecimal (post Heel-Face Turn) kidnaps Bob in the middle of an infected guardian invasion simply to chat. (She gets bored easily.)
- Kim Possible is introduced to Global Justice by being suddenly dropped down a trapdoor into a pneumatic tube and brought to the agency's headquarters.
- After Martin Luther came under Imperial ban by the Imperial Diet, his supporter Prince-Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony (also "his" prince since Luther was Saxon, making him a Reasonable Authority Figure ) had him kidnapped, reported dead and held in Wartburg Castle to keep him hidden from imperial authorities.